The resignation letters of 140 interns were handed to the management at the Sheba Medical Center Thursday and similar mass resignations are to be tendered in most of Israel's hospitals later in the day. All in all, about 1,200 interns will hand in the resignation letters, at Rambam Hospital and Bnei Tzion Medical Center in Haifa, Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Beilinson and Schneider in Petach Tikva, Meir in Kfar Saba and Ziv in Tzfat.
The resignations will go into force in 30 days' time.
Representatives of the interns decided to hand in the resignations after holding a consultation at Sheba. Over 70% of the representatives voted in favor of the move. It does not apply to interns in "extraordinary circumstances" (like pregnant women).
The interns are unhappy about the agreement that is being hammered out with the Finance Ministry. They demand a minimum wage of 50 shekels (about $14.30) per hour.
Dr. Nadav Haim, representing the interns at Sheba, stated in a news conference: "We love our profession but unfortunately we cannot work in it in the present circumstances, and therefore we are handing in our resignations… As doctors we have public responsibility, and we want to create a better medical future for the next generations."
Dr. Leonid Idelman, who heads the Medical Federation, warned the interns not to resign. "Your unorganized actions may eventually hit all of us like a boomerang," he said.